Simple URL adds GO links to your site

I’ve added a new WordPress plugin to my favorites list – Simple URL.

Simple URL is a plugin that lets you do redirects and URL shortening using your own domain name. You can use this to shorten or hide ugly URLs for your affiliate products, shorten URLs for pages on your site, or just make easy to remember URLs.

So instead of this:

You get this:

Read more at the plugin site – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-urls/
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Yoast WordPress SEO goes 1.0!

My favorite SEO plugin for WordPress has left beta status and is now version 1.0. Yoast WordPress SEO is  now a full realesed and stable product. If you’ve been waiting, now it the time to install this plugin on your site.

This plugin enables all your SEO features for your site and gives you a screen on your edit post page to configure your meta variables and see recommendations on how to improve your results. It creates your site maps, notifies Google, and updates your Google and Bing webmaster tools.

I’ve used it for months and have been quite happy with it.

Read more at Yoast’s Blog site

 

And, the cost is only a donation. Use it and if you like it, click the donate button.

 

 

 

 

Testing MailChimp Mail List

After using ListWire for a few months, I’ve decided to give MailChimp a try as my mail list server. MailChip is a professional mail list server and does not make all your subscribers watch ads for other mail list like ListWire does.

MailChimp is free for sending upto 12,000 emails per month to upto 2,000 subscribers .  Try it yourself-Test MailChimp

I’ll be testing the features and forms over the next few weeks and will post a review here for you.

eMail Tracking Explained

I received an email this week asking how phpList was able to track when some one opened an email. I thought it was a good question to cover the answer here.

When we use mail list software like phpList, ListWire, Aweber, MailChimp or others, there is a ‘tracking’ feature. This tracking is different than your office email’s Read Receipt. Read Receipts are little email like messages that are sent from your readers computer back to your email. It works in a office, but not so well out on the internet.

The tracking feature of most mail list systems use a small html image embedded in the email message. When your subscriber reads the email, their email software does a html request back to the mail list server to display the small graphic image. Usually this image is a small 1 pixel white square that the reader will not notice. The html code in your email message has codes that let the mail list server know what message it came from. the mail list server then records the message as read.

The html graphic works very well, but now may email clients block images for your emails. You have probably seen the message asking you to load graphics on emails before. When you answer no or don’t load images, the mail list software will not be able to mark the message as read.

 

For more information and examples, check out this YouTube video on How eMail Tracking Works.

 

 

 

Mail List Software Revisited

The past few months, I have tested AWeber, ListWire, and phpList for my mailing list services.  Now, I’m ready to document why I made the switch.

phpList Mailing List Software

phpList is a  free, open source mailing list software you install on your own server. ( see phpList postings for more info) phpList is great for tech savvy users and has the advantage that you are in full control. You can import users and not have to force them to confirm their subscription, which is great if they confirmed elsewhere.  Unfortunately, phpList is missing an important feature for Internet Marketers, auto-responders. You can’t set up a series of email to be sent to each new subscriber. phpList is also missing support and isn’t seeing much new development.

I used phpList as my mail list server for a year, but decided because of the lack of auto-responders and new development, I need to look at other mail-list services.

AWeber Mailing

As part of a training class I was doing this spring, I subscribed to AWeber’s mailing list service. Aweber is very easy to use, well supported and has the auto-responder feature. AWeber integrates into WordPress very well with their subscription forms plugin. AWeber has extensive training that follows you thought the process of setting up your subscribers and mailings. However, importing is difficult with Aweber. To import a list you have to submit the list, give a explanation of where you got the list, wait for a Aweber employee to review the list and then go through the confirmation process.  Aweber also costs money, $20 a month.

ListWire Mail Server

Another mail list service I tried this spring is ListWire. ListWire is a full featured mailing list service with subscription forms, WordPress integration and auto-responders. ListWire training is thin, but has a strong user community that provides good support. (including a great user manual and new video training). ListWire does not support subscription list imports. You need to send your old mail list a subscription request email from your normal email account. But the major plus, ListWire is free.  The downside to free, is that your subscriber will see a “offer” from the site a the end the confirmation process.

Recommendation??

So after testing these  mail list services, I have decided to go with ListWire. I don’t have a large mailing list and  mailing list are not a large part on my Internet Marketing strategy, so free is better and I don’t mind the presentation of a offer during the confirmation process.


List Wire - Get Your Free Autoresponder

However, if mailing lists are an important piece of your strategy and having a very positive online image is important, I would suggest going with AWeber.

 

As for phpList? Only if you love to tinker and don’t need a auto-responder feature.

 

 

WordPress SEO plugin free training

If you are using the WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast, as I recommended a few months ago, you may have seen that the latest version added a new page analysis feature – Linkdex. Linkdex is a tool Yoast uses for SEO and has come to love,

This friday, Matt Roberts of Linkdex and Yoast will do a free webinar on how to use the new functionality in the WordPress SEO plugin and answer all your questions .

When: Friday May 13, at 11:00 AM, PDT

Cost: Free

Registration: Required (limited space available)

Register now through this link:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/931773099

Hope you can join me on Friday!